A consciousness of the cosmos, knowing the life and order of the universe. It is considered a higher, yet at present an exceptional peak in human evolution which the race is expected to reach in a distant future.
According to Dr. Richard M. Bucke (1837-1902), a friend of Walt Whitman, some individuals, mostly of the male sex, between 30 and 40, and who are highly developed with good intellect, high morals, a superior physique, and an earnest religious feeling can acquire this consciousness.
Dr. Bucke considered thirteen individuals to have possessed such a consciousness: Gautama
, Jesus, Paul, Platinus, Mohammed, Dante, Las Casas, John Ypes, Francis Bacon
, Jacob Behmen, William Blake
, Balzac and Walt Whitman.
The experience comes suddenly without warning with a sensation of being immersed in a flame or rose-colored cloud and is accompanied by a feeling of ecstasy, moral and intellectual illumination in which, like a flash, a clear conception in outline is presented to the mind of the meaning and drift of the universe.
The man or woman going through this experience knows that the universe is a living presence, that life is eternal, the soul of man is immortal, the foundation principle of life is love, and the happiness of every individual in the long run is absolutely certain. All fear of death, all sense of sin is lost, and the personality gains added charm and is transfigured. In a few moments of the experience the individual will learn more than in years or months of study and will learn much that no study will teach.